President Johnson’s Thanksgiving Speech, 1963

Happy Thanksgiving! We hope everyone’s celebrations will be wonderful this year.

In remembrance of Thanksgivings past, we want to share this historic audio clip with you today. On November 28th 1963, newly sworn in president Lyndon B. Johnson, delivered a speech honoring president John F. Kennedy, who had died just a week earlier. His message is one of thanks and hope, as he details the coming together of the American people and the people of the world, in the face of such a tragedy. As part of his address, he says,

Portrait of President Johnson
Official White House Portrait of President Lyndon B. Johnson. By Elizabeth Shoumatoff [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“A great leader is dead. A great nation must move on. Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or to lose. I am resolved that we shall win the tomorrows before us. So I ask you to join me in that resolve, determined that from this midnight of tragedy we shall move toward a new American greatness. More than any generation before us, we have cause to be thankful, so thankful, on this Thanksgiving Day. Our harvests are bountiful, our factories flourish, our homes are safe, our defenses are secure. We live in peace. The goodwill of the world pours out for us. 

 

 
 

Listen to the entire speech: 

This audio came to the AAPB as part of a WGBH radio broadcast that was recorded onto ¼ inch audio tape. It was digitized as part of the 40,000 hours of digitization funded by CPB.

This post was written by Sadie Roosa, AAPB team member at WGBH.

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